D.C. is testing a program that would change the price of parking based on demand.
"Surge pricing" could require people to pay $8 an hour to park in Chinatown-Penn Quarter at peak times, the Washington Post reports.
City officials say the program is meant to reduce downtown traffic congestion. Officials say studies show 25 percent of traffic is caused by vehicles circling the block looking for parking.
Soumya Dey, director of the DDOT's research and technology transfer division, said they're trying to balance the supply and demand for parking.
"We have done some studies that indicate that 25 to 30 percent of the congestion downtown is because of people circling around the block to find an open parking space," Dey told News4's Tom Sherwood recently.
John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, says the new program could discourage lower-income residents from visiting the area.
Surge pricing is scheduled to begin in the spring.